OPINION: In Defense of Metroid: Other M

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

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Editor’s Note: The following article discusses Metroid: Other M in depth. If you’ve not finished the game, be mindful of spoilers as you read. This article touches on several plot details in other Metroid games including Metroid Fusion and Super Metroid. 

A little over two years ago, Nintendo released Metroid: Other M, the first non Prime entry in the series since the release of Metroid: Zero Mission on the Game Boy Advance in 2004.  It was revealed and received with a splash at E3 2009 and subsequently positioned as one of the biggest Wii titles of 2010.  Upon its release, however, it became a very divisive title.  Other M didn’t necessarily fail to sell, and its reviews were relatively positive among professional critics.  However, if the Internet is any indication, there’s a sizable number of people out there, including people that write for this very website, that consider it either an embarrassment and an affront to the Metroid name, or just a terrible game in general.

This left me in a very awkward position.  I enjoy the game and consider it one of my favorites of the past several years, in addition to being one of my favorite entries in the Metroid series.  But to say anything positive about it circa September 2010 on the internet would just get me a whole host of trouble.  It’s still a pretty contentious topic for me to this day, in fact.  I hate to feel any sort of need to defend a video game of all things, but as much as I love it, I seem to be in a distinct minority given how vociferous the hate can be.

I honestly wonder how many people made this judgement without even playing it.

Before I go on, I suppose that should briefly touch on my history with the Metroid series in general.  I’ve played most of its entries to some degree.  The only ones I haven’t touched at all are Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid Prime Hunters (aside from the initial DS pack-in demo).  My all-time favorite game in the series is Metroid: Zero Mission.  I’m not a particularly big fan of the Prime games, but that has more to do with the fact that I have never been a first-person shooter fan in general outside of GoldenEye.

So with all of this in mind, I’m going to lay it all out here.  As a fan of Other M, as someone that sees the game as an accomplishment worthy of praise more than as a target for ridicule and scorn, allow me this opportunity to explain to you why I like it as I do, and why I feel that so much of the hate it gets is undeserved.  I don’t necessarily believe that this will change any minds, but if what I have to say can offer the chance for at least one person to reconsider their position, then I feel it will have been worth it.

To start, I am not so delusional that I claim that Other M is flawless.  There are certainly a number of areas in which something could have been improved, or at the very least rethought.  On the gameplay side, the biggest annoyance is undoubtedly the pixel hunts; those moments in the game where the player is forced into first-person and required to search the environment for something of interest.  They’re not a necessary feature and do little to add to the atmosphere.  If anything, they only cause the game to come to a screeching halt as the player spends far too much time trying to find the one point in the environment that needs to be focused on before being allowed to continue on.

Then there are the problems inherent in the game’s presentation. For starters, the script is just not well-written.  It violates a core principle of writing: show, don’t tell.  What this means is don’t simply tell people what happened; paint a picture with words.  Show events as they occur and the characters involved, rather than telling us about them from a distance.  This is the biggest failure of the script; it uses Samus’s narration as a crutch to tell the story, rather than the full spectrum of the medium to properly show it.

The second problem with the script is that it references events within the Metroid canon that had never previously been depicted in any of the games; specifically, the brief flashback to Samus’s early childhood when Ridley and the space pirates destroyed her home.   The game makes the assumption that these elements are common knowledge to the audience, when in fact they are only known to a subset of the fanbase that had searched for this information on their own.

And finally, there’s the logic gap between gameplay and story.  To explain away the reason why Samus can’t use the majority of her weapons, and thus maintain the traditional Metroid game progression of acquiring powers and growing in strength over time, the story has her make an agreement with Adam Malkovich, her former commanding officer, to abide by the rules of jurisdiction and follow his orders.  What this means in gameplay terms is that Samus isn’t allowed to use weapons such as the ice beam or missiles until granted authorization.  However, this same logic is also applied to Samus’s armor, which is nonsensical and circles back to my point that the script was poorly written.  There could have been any number of legitimate reasons why Samus would be prevented from using the Varia and Gravity Suit upgrades (perhaps the upgrades short out early on and require recharging over time before they can be used again), but the script takes a shortcut and fails to properly address the issue.

There’s a point here that I feel needs to be addressed.  Many people paint Team Ninja, the development studio Nintendo partnered with to make the game, as the party responsible for the story and all of its faults, real or imagined.  However, this is simply not true; Team Ninja did not write the story.  It was penned by Yoshio Sakamoto, one of the co-creators of the Metroid series.  I only bring this up because a startling number of people even today continue to misattribute their criticisms of the plot.

Not pictured: Team Ninja

With the technical faults in the writing acknowledged, I still feel that the story itself is a good one.  Metroid is a series that, Metroid Fusion aside, has always been fairly sparse in terms of their narratives. Samus enters an alien landscape, kills things, completes her mission, and then in all likelihood has to book it back out before a self-destruct mechanism goes off.  Other M has all of these bases covered, of course.  It also does a fine job of filling in the time gap between Super Metroid and Fusion.  Dots that had been left hanging out in space, such as how Ridley’s corpse had wound on the BSL station despite the complete destruction of Zebes at the end of Super Metroid, were finally connected.

What I appreciate more than any other element in the narrative, however, is Samus.  Prior to Other M, she was a character that said very little over the years.  Her first lines of dialogue didn’t come until the prologue of Super Metroid, and she didn’t have dialogue interaction with a secondary character until Metroid Fusion.  On an even more basic level, upon the original Metroid’s release, most people didn’t even realize that Samus is a woman until they either beat the original game fast enough to see her out of her suit or by coming across the “Justin Bailey” password.  Further, her out-of-suit appearance changed from game to game until Zero Mission.  She’s a character whose presentation has evolved over time, just as the medium itself has evolved.

Continue on…

About Justin Graham

Justin joined Oprainfall through…belligerence. (Note to others: This is not a good way to get noticed. This sort of thing only works once.) When he’s not writing about games or waxing nostalgic about anime older than a large portion of the site’s audience, he can be found playing JRPGs or beating up lots of dudes in Dynasty Warriors.

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  • caleb1993

    Very well written and definitely makes me want to pick up a copy of this game. Thanks for the read. 

    • You have nothing to lose, considering you can pick up a new copy for $10.

    •  Since you feel this way, I assume that you are ready to play the game through and enjoy, and accept, Metroid Other M for what it is. And be ready for Hard Mode, ’cause that one’s a real ball-buster.

    • Mizu D

      You can go no wrong for 10$. But for 60$+tx, it was a let down no matter how the article try to summarize it. And it is not the story line that is the problem for me, nor the superb CGI cinematic, but the game itself. And that without counting the music, which IMO is the weakest you can hear as it is not composed by the legendary Yamamoto and the usual assistant.

    • I preordered it and payed full price. I even got a neato artbook. NO REGRETS!

    • And thanks for reading!  As the others have noted, it’s inexpensive and easy to come by these days, so you have little to lose in giving it a shot.

  • actually is not a bad game, just a misogynist game…

    also sakamoto can´t tell a real story, so i hope nintendo won’t make the same error and put him again in control for new metroid games

    •  Explain to me what’s so misogynistic about the game? Is it because Samus is emotional, has trauma’s, is anything but the cold badass bounty hunter many of us vision her to be?

    • I have to agree in the questioning of claims about Metroid: Other M being misogynistic.  While I’m not sensitive to the topic, I do see nothing wrong in portraying Samus as having some normal emotional issues, something that every human being faces in one way or another.  It was strange, however, to bring these emotional flavors to the story all of a sudden, where most previous games had not expanded on Samus’ personality, but that doesn’t mean Samus should have no personality, or that Samus only has a personality of what we thought she had.  

    • Don’t forget the events of Super Metroid which left Samus emotional unstable

    • Samus shouldn’t have been left any more emotionally unstable at the end of Super Metroid.  She’d been in numerous traumatic situations before and was none the worse for wear.

    • multibottler0cket

      Yeah, but the more traumatic experiences you go through, the higher chance you have of becoming more unstable.

    • Jacob Listerud

      No, the higher chance you have of getting used to it.

    • Haven’t played all the way through Metroid Other M yet, but one thing about the ridley scene still bugs the hell out of me. By this point in the canon she has fought Ridley 4 times in the past… it’s kind of complete BS that all the sudden NOW on the fifth fight she suddenly  has PTSD… c’mon… the story in EVERY ASPECT was poorly written.. they could have at least used a damn fact checker on their plot to see if the story made sense.

    • Samus may have fought Ridley multiple times in the past, but the fight in Super Metroid was when he was finally killed, supposedly for good.  And he would have continued to remain dead had he not been accidentally cloned back into existence.

      That in mind, Samus had every reason to believe that she’d never have to deal with him again.  Her worst enemy comes back from the dead, I’d expect her to be legitimately shocked.

    • Samus would’ve thought Ridley to be dead on the other encounters.  If she had any reason to suspect he wasn’t really dead, don’t you think she would’ve made sure by blowing his brains out or something?
      No matter how you try to explain it, Samus’s Ridley breakdown in Other M just doesn’t make any sense.  When she encounters Ridley for the second time in Zero Mission, after he’d killed her parents, does she have a breakdown?  No.  She defeats him in battle and likely assumes him to be dead (after pelting him all sorts of explosive, high powered weaponry and watching him explode).   In Prime, when she encounters Ridley again after she suspected him to be dead, does she have a breakdown?  No.  She defeats him again, sending him plummeting to his death into a ravine and exploding.  Once again, she assumes he’s dead.  In Prime 3, she encounters Ridley again on Norion.  Does she have a breakdown?  No.  She’s knocked into a shaft with him and falls for quite a distance, fighting him at the same time.  Rundas comes along and saves Samus at the last minute, leaving Ridley to continue falling to his death.  Samus assumes him to be dead again.  Later, in Prime 3, Samus encounters Ridley a second time, this time enhanced by Phazon.  Does she have a breakdown?  No.  She fights him and destroys him once again, assuming him to be dead.  The next time she encounters him in Super Metroid, does she have a breakdown?  No. She fights him, and defeats him.  It’s only in Other M that she has a breakdown.
      My point is, Samus had defeated Ridley before and would’ve assumed him to be dead.  And yet she never had a breakdown in the subsequent game when he pulls a Lazarus and comes back to fight her once again.  Other M doing this makes no sense at all and doesn’t match up with Samus’s character in past games.

    • J

      “When she encounters Ridley for the second time in Zero Mission, after he’d killed her parents, does she have a breakdown? No.” You can’t judge that from a 2D game that did not focus on personality and all that..

    • Jacob Listerud

      Okay, you’re just grasping at straws.

    • Logan Hollis

      Sure she may have fought him four times in the past, but those were times where she was prepared to fight him. She didn’t know anything about the Bottle Ship before she went in. She just went to investigate. Add in the fact that she just blew up the planet that Ridley died on and him showing up again would definitely be a surprise.

    • Jacob Listerud

      That doesn’t change anything. She wasn’t prepared to fight Ridley in Prime 3 during the mine-shaft fight, how come Samus doesn’t freak out then? Oh, and Zero Mission, wasn’t prepared for him then, but no freakout. Your argument is crap.

    • Jacob Listerud

      Oh, I’m sorry, but yes, Other M is a pile of misogynistic dog shit and this article, right here, extensively details what makes it the case.


    • It’s not because of Samus’s emotions that make the game seems sexist; it’s her  relationship with Adam. She seems to base her entire self-worth on what Adam thinks, and worships the ground he walks on while he treats her like dirt. If you ask me, this game made Adam into a completely unlikable character.
      This article explains it better than I do:

    •  You know, if you flip genders, it’s your average Friendzoning story gone wrong. Because face it, even in real life, both men and women base their self-worth on what the other gender or even what the same gender thinks about them. That’s not necessarily sexism in my book, that’s having a low-self esteem and living by the notion that you can only have self-worth if the people who you admire or rely on confirm that.

    • Jacob Listerud

      Blah, Blah, Blah. You’re just ass-pulling bullshit.

    • Logan Hollis

      Blah Blah Blah, you’r ignoring his argument.

    • Jacob Listerud

      That’s because I’ve seen Other M’s detractors come up with much better arguments. For instance, Darklordjadow1’s review of Other M.

      At one point he said, “*Just spitballing here, wouldn’t this whole story between Samus and Adam work much better if the roles were reversed? If Samus was the one who was cold and distant after all these years, Adam sees this and is concerned for her psychological well-being and tries to get her to open up for her own good? Think about it. Samus has spent years watching planets blow up and anybody even remotely close to her die, (the baby metroid just being the latest example) she becomes so cold-hearted as a defen*s

      *e mechanism that she’s not mentally well anymore, but then reconnects with Adam, is still icy, and Adam realizes that if she doesn’t learn how to handle her emotions soon, she’s going to snap. It would be a story that’s not at odds with literally everything we know about Samus and it would allow her to grow as a character as opposed to the actual game which devolves her into a mewling schoolgirl with daddy issues. Plus, it would be a clever deconstruction of a fairly dark and grim series. Sorry, I’m trying to make bricks without clay here.” *
      So he pointed out a better way for the story to work.

    • Jacob Listerud

      His downright, biased and idiotic argument?

    • Logan Hollis

      Wow, you’re really mature. Way to not be biased.

    • Jacob Listerud

      Well then, why don’t you read this article on Other M, right here:


      And I think he should to.

    • I think what they’re pointing at is Samus’s over-reliance on Adam.  She followed his orders to a “T”, even when those orders where completely nonsensical, like when she refused to turn on her Varia suit immediately upon entering the lava biosphere(room, pod, whatever) because he hadn’t explicitly authorized it at that point.  Although, I agree with the author of the above article.  These are just examples of bad writing, not necessarily sexism.

    • Jacob Listerud

      But it’s still sexist.

    • Logan Hollis

      I can explain that a little bit. She grew up with birds and never had any human interaction until she joined the military. The only person to ever give her respect was Adam. So her reliance on him and constant need for his approval is more an issue of Samus than it is an issue of a) an abusive relationship b) sexism. Girl’s got problems.

  • Awesome piece. I totally agree that Samus as a human with emotions was definitely a strength. Your last two paragraphs sum up exactly what needs to be done with the series. Sure, there is always room for improvement on the technical side, and the storytelling could use a bit of cleanup, but Samus as a character must remain intact. 

    • She has never been intact, every game shows more of her personality, own conflicts and feelings towards other people/creatures

    • I believe what NintendoDude means when he says that Samus as a character must remain intact is that Nintendo shouldn’t feel the need to disregard the characterization that they’ve given her.  They’ve established who she is as a person, at least to an extent, and pretending like the game never happened, as some fans would like, is not the way to go.

  • All I know is that I thoroughly enjoyed Metroid: Other M despite any small complaints about it. I also had no problem with the storyline, or the voice acting, nor did I think that the game portrayed Samus, or women in general, in a negative way.  I simply saw it as a story that the creator wanted to make. 

    Personally I felt the game was a nice change of pace from the Metroid Prime trilogy.  Although, I have to say that I’m excited by the idea of a new Metroid Prime, what with Nintendo going into the HD era with WiiU.  Those designers at Retro are top notch, and I’d love to see some high definition level design from them. 

    • Jacob Listerud

      Then you’re stupid.

  • Here are the reasons why myself and others do not like this game:

    (You should also search up the Other M Counterpoint on YouTube)

    There’s something I do not agree with you about at all.  The difficulty.  I found the game to be extremely easy.  The only time I died was during the Queen Metroid fight and the game decided not to tell you you could use Power Bombs.

    • Ah yes, I am a fan of Gaming Brit myself!  In fact, watching his videos was what inspired me to write my review of the game a few months back.

    • I would encourage you in stating your opinion on the game in your own words, even if it mirrors the views expressed in those videos.

      Also, though you didn’t find the game difficult, what’s easy or hard is something that can’t be measured evenly across all audiences.  I obviously found it a more challenging game than you did.  Did you happen to play the game in hard mode at all?

    • Yeah, I played Hard Mode.  I only ever died when either the controls decided not to respond and during the Elevator scene (I hope you know which one I’m talking about.

    • Yeah, the elevator got me, too.  That was actually pretty clever.  It made me feel pretty dumb for literally hanging out in the path of a falling elevator car.

      But I died quite a bit more often than that.  Sometimes it was me being a doofus, sometimes it was me fighting a strong enemy and not being fast enough.  I’d say that it was a very rare occasion when I could legitimately feel justified in blaming the game.

    • Whew, Hard Mode was just brutal.  I may have complaints about Other M but, especially after Hard Mode, difficulty ain’t one of ’em.

    • Logan Hollis

      That Ridley fight.

  • You are right in saying that Sakamoto has every right to portray Samus in whatever way he pleases.  However, that right does not excuse him from doing so badly.  The way he wrote Samus in Other M is completely out of line with how she was previous portrayed.  For example, in Other M, Samus is extremely inefficient, nearly inept, throughout the story and accomplishes very little (if you need an example of this, look no further than the Varia suit fiasco).  I think we can all agree that if there’s one thing we could gather from Samus’s earlier outtings, it’s that she was a proficient bounty hunter, single handedly toppling Space Pirate installations, killing the most powerful Metroid in the Universe on three occasions, and surviving and overcoming the corruptive powers of Phazon.  I find it extremely hard to believe that someone who is capable of doing all these things is still capable of failing so hard on several occasions as in Other M.  Does this mean that there is no room for character or psychology flaws?  Not at all, (although my opinions on those psychological flaws that we saw in Other M should be evident by now).  Samus can still be good at what she does while still having a flawed mind or personality.
    Also, I kind of got the impression that you were insinuating that I’d never played Other M and was  ignorantly bashing it simply because it wasn’t Metroid Prime near the start of your article.  Whether that was your intent or not (I should hope it wasn’t), I want to make one thing crystal clear: I played Metroid: Other M as much as any person ever could.  I completed the story, got 100% completion, beat the secret boss, and went the extra mile by beating hard mode.
    One more thing, you cannot justify bad voice acting, no matter how hard you try.  Even someone narrating out of hindsight would have had more pathos than the voice actress for Samus in Other M.

    • I honestly did not find the voice acting to be bad.

      I also never meant to insinuate that you hadn’t played the game that much, nor that you bashed it out of ignorance.  I do believe (and you can feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) that you seem to favor the Prime series over the rest, and that does seem to slant your judgement (that is not a criticism, just an observation).

    • The voice acting is pretty bad, especially in Samus’s case.  Her voice actress is completely bland and emotionless.

    • Well, it seems we’ll just have to disagree on that.  I didn’t find it bad, and Samus’s actress does emote more in her actual character dialogue than her narration.  I just wasn’t bothered by it like others were.

  • The thing is, although I do agree with you on most points, and that I also enjoy the more “human” characterization of Samus over the fandom’s “cold bounty hunter,” I feel that her reaction to Ridley was a bit overt.  I enjoyed her interaction with the team and Madeline as it showed her human side.  However, Ridley’s appearance was a bit much, because she had already killed 6 incarnations of Ridley at this point in the timeline.  If the game had occured earlier in the timeline, I feel this would have been much more justifiable.  The only way I can think to justify her reaction is to outright ignore the Prime trilogy, leaving us with only 2 incarnations of Ridley.

    • The Prime trilogy does count but look at from at a position where Ridley’s body was destroyed with Zebas and Samus believed that his was for good 

    • I fail to see why Samus wouldn’t have believed him to be dead for good after blasting him full of missiles and high energy beams.

    • His corpse from Super Metroid went up in smoke with the rest of the planet.  Kind of hard to recover from that.

    • I know.  It’s also hard to recover from plasma burns and damage caused by concussive missiles.  And exploding.  Really, I find it hard to believe that Ridley managed to survive every single encounter with Samus up until Super Metroid (there were four of them).  The chances of that happening are incredibly remote.  And even if he did, don’t you think Samus would have made sure Ridley was dead by taking a few seconds to blow his brains out, at least after the first time he unexpectedly reappears?

  • How does the concentration mechanic make sense in the Metroid universe? I would have said the exact opposite. Are you going for a “the suit materializes and de-materalizaes with her thoughts, so ammo can too” explanation? It doesn’t fit with the rest of the series. The concentration mechanic was one of the main things that bugged me about the game. Not only did it wreck a core part of the usual gameplay (searching for expansions) it made no sense.

    •  It didn’t ruin searching for upgrades, you still search for upgrades.  It only takes away the little holographic pills. Taking a second to recharge your health and missiles makes a lot more sense than waiting for a boss to spew henchmen that you destroy so you can get your missiles back.

    • It did, but I think it’d be interesting to have Metroid take a Half-life approach to health regeneration; wherein your health is restored via Medkits left lying on the ground and the staggered recharge station.

    • Dark Weres said it as well as I would have.  There’s no real difference between pausing to concentrate and recharge versus camping an enemy spawn point to restock missiles and health.  It makes more sense for the suit to be able to recharge its energy and restore its ammunition than it does to kill enemies and expect them to dispense missiles like a pinata.

  • Wonderful article. I loved where you talk about the characterizations between Samus and Madeline Bergman, and it’s surprising just how similar their burdens are. Although it was short-lived and plagued with expositions, the end was very powerful.

    I’m very surprised you don’t talk about the “hell-run” debacle, since that was what rustled so many jimmies. Granted, it was the dumbest moment in the whole game, but it was pretty tense; especially when you’re trying to race to the top of that volcano on Hard Mode. People have written all kinds of nonsense on Samus and Adam’s characterizations for this episode, but I surmise that it was done this way because these two are professionals and they trust each others positions and abilities; Samus trusts Adam’s authority, Adam trusts Samus combative and survival instincts. Samus carries out orders without questions, Adam authorizes abilities when absolutely necessary, or when she’s in real danger (and that lava boss looked very intimidating). It could’ve been written better for sure, but I don’t think there was anything misogynistic about this part of the game. Any thoughts?

    • I didn’t cover the “hell run” directly, but I did cover it obliquely in my comments regarding the writing.  Mostly, I avoided direct reference to the sequence because I know that it’s been well-covered in many, many discussions, and I felt that it would be better to turn my focus on other areas that may have not been discussed as much, such as the similarities between Samus and Madeline.  However, I will say that your interpretation of the hell run sequence and the way Samus and Adam’s relationship plays into it is an interpretation that I’ve considered, as well.

      Thank you for the compliments, by the way!  I’m glad you enjoyed reading it.  The article certainly seems to have generated quite a response!

  • 1. I suggest everyone look up “Character Assassination Authorized” on youtube.
    2. Your defense of Other M is the exact same thing that misses how much they failed to write a flawed character. Other M’s story isn’t stupid because it’s Metroid. It’s a stupid story because…it’s a stupid story. Samus’ isn’t poorly written for being different. She’s poorly written because she was written poorly. Even as a deconstruction, the writing completely fails to get Samus as a character, or A good character of any type. It’s contradictory to anyone with any level of knowledge of the series or even what happens in the game, and it has plot holes big enough to drive Samus’ ship into them. Even as someone who enjoys some dumb japanese stories, it’s genuinely horrendous.

    • I’m listening to it right now.  It’s a scream.

    • 1.  I would encourage you to state your own argument rather than to ask people to direc their attention to a Youtube video.

      2.  I was perfectly upfront in stating that the game has its flaws, particularly in its writing.  You tell me nothing in stating that “she was poorly written because she was written poorly.”  That’s an empty statement.

      In addition to #1, I would also encourage you to reread what I have written, particularly in regards to my criticisms of the writing.

    • all you really said in terms of writing, from what I can tell is “yeah the writing sucks but this sounds cool in theory right guys?” And even if that’s not what you meant, I’ve seen plenty of people much smarter than me already have great rebuttal to everything said. And they said those rebuttals shortly after the game came out. You are just covering the same ground that literally every other defender has with nothing new to say and nothing new to rebut the rebuttals. The Ridley thing is a giant plot hole everyone already knew about. Adam’s part is ruined by the constantly horribad weapon authorization that turns him into either an asshole or idiot or both and kills any enjoyment of the character. I want a new defense for the story for once.

      Samus’ character fails for poorly thought out instead of genuinely believable character flaws and the metaphors fail because both the metaphors AND tons of “let’s tell you what you blatantly just saw” exposition basically beat you into submission over and over again. The sexism complaining is partially people insulting the bad writing for what it can easily be inferred as and partially people overreacting (even writing for this game can have overreactions, it’s the internet). And again, smarter people have put this better, but the “flawed character” angle fails. Samus makes these mistakes for stupid reasons instead of ones that make her a relatable flawed character. Also when she is denied being a badass during what should be climatic battles it infuriates people even more since the story even gets in the way of that.

      I’d be the first interested in a story like Other M except written by an actual really good writer. And I’m also the first to be dissappointed that the sales (because people didn’t want to pay 50 dollars for such nonsense) probably killed anyone doing something new with Metroid or this whole “Samus distrusts Galactic Federation” they could clearly head towards. Or having a Nintendo series with a timeline that’s consistent and relevent to the stories. Sucks.

    • It is perfectly possible to recognize bad writing while still finding worth in the story and characters.  I’m not sure why you seem so steamed by people with that view.

    • Nettacki

      “It is perfectly possible to recognize bad writing while still finding worth in the story and characters.”

      True, but even so, it’s also possible to realize that whatever “worth” you saw in the story and characters is not the same sort of “worth” other people see.

  • link_jzu

    Yes, I loved Other M too.

  • SecretX

    i understand some of the things you are saying like forcing the player to search around the are, but every game has something like that. people were told that she gonna talk even more on this game and i think they did a great job, even the story was great for me. when, you play the game. she actually doesn’t talk, it’s all in her head. i guess they wanted to capture what she thought when she fighting space pirates.

    • That’s kind of a problem, though.  Up until Other M, everyone assumed that Samus was focused on the job at hand and didn’t waste her attention on coming up with philosophical questions and whether or not people would approve of her actions.  Listening to her do it in Other M is unnecessarily jarring.

    • I believe it was only jarring to those that had a gross misinterpretation of who she is as a character.  I myself wasn’t caught off-guard in any particular way.

    • I doubt it’s a misinterpretation.  No one played a Metroid game and thought that these sorts of things would be going through Samus’s head when she’s in the middle of a dangerous situation.

    • No one had access to her inner thoughts before then.  These are the risks one takes when a silent protagonist is given a voice.

    • Tylendal

      Honestly, when I saw her activating her suit in the trailer, I thought “Oh Cool, it’s just like in the Manga.” Same thought when she lost coherency of her suit against Ridley.

    • Daniel Moreno

      My wife actually got irritated with me when I squealed like an idiot when I saw the suit materialize like in the manga.

  • John Ellis

    I brought other M day one, so my views are not based on what’s been said since. Other M was not a bad game, by that I mean if it had been a new IP it would of been a fairly decent games, the combats not bad, fun yet repetitive.

    The biggest issue I had was that I didn’t feel engrossed in the story at all, I hated the characters and didn’t care at all for what’s going on, most of all I hated how little freedom I had, it was only when Adam died that I was fully able to explore how I wanted to, and that was shortly before the end of the game. It also ruined Samus character.

    • You say it ruined Samus, but you fail to elaborate on how.  Why do you believe that’s the case?

    • John Ellis

       The strong impression the other games gave was that Samus was a self reliant bounty hunter who walked her own path, this game reduces her to this needy little girl. The other problem is a lot simpler, she is just so boring to listen to, the dislodge she gives is just a series of statements, if your going to have a character talk at least have them say something interesting.

    • Previous games never dove into her personality to any great extent, save for Fusion.  The only solid facts that we could construe from her silent protagonist entries are that she’s a bounty hunter, she’s good at her job, and she has a soft side.

      I’m not sure where this “needy little girl” you speak of comes in.

  • Haven’t finished the game but so far I’m of the opposite opinion of most: I liked the portrayal of samus yet did not like the gameplay. Other M lets us take a good look at the human behind the fierce planet and monster destroying bounty hunter. I love seeing the frail side of strong characters. Makes them seem more human. The gameplay on the other hand I’m not so sure of. I like the 2d metroids like super and fusion but part of the charm of metroid is hunting for hidden gadgets and using them to find new things and that isnt much of a focus in other m when you get your gear through scripted story events.

  • Why isn’t anyone complaining about all the MEN following Adam’s orders to a T? THOSE GUYS DIED FOR HIM!!!

    • That was their job, though.  They really didn’t have any choice in the matter.  Not only that, but they were only paper soldiers, cookie cutter macho men whose only purpose in the story was to die (Adam and Anthony being the exception).  They’re like the marines in Aliens with even less personality.

    • Tylendal

      What people always overlook is that Samus didn’t have a choice in the matter either. It was either obey Adam as part of his team, or be an enemy.

    • Logan Hollis

      And in this instance, given military rules of jurisdiction, that is Samus’ job as well.

  • I have to admit reading this, I want to get Other M just to give it a shot.

  • SpindaMaster

    I have to agree with you. I have Other M and really couldn’t understand most of the complaints people were having. I could understand some, but not all. 

  • How exactly is the whole “concentration” mechanic contextualized? You said it makes sense, but you don’t explain how. Was it because of her Chozo DNA, modifications to her suit, or something else? It’s been a while since I played Other M, but I don’t remember that gameplay mechanic being given any context.

    • Hmmm… I’d like to know that too. I hadn’t really thought about it before you mentioned it here, but now I’m curious.

      I guess we could assume that sci-fi technology lets them manufacture missiles/recharge energy, but yeah, I agree that point should be expanded upon.

      To be fair, though, it makes about as much sense as the local fauna containing energy and ammo in their guts.

    • As I stated in another response, it’s contextualized in that it makes more sense from an in-universe perspective for her suit to regenerate energy and ammunition than it does to farm both from enemies she kills.  The reasoning doesn’t needed to be stated up-front to provide context; it’s simply a function that the suit is capable of, and one that makes more natural sense than spawn camping.

  • ” Without aspects such as voice or access to inner thoughts, Samus’s
    persona could be interpreted in any number of ways by any number of
    people, whether she’s a stone-cold killer, business-minded bounty
    hunter, vengeance-driven, Batman-like orphan, or something else.”
    A lot of people missed this.  Even if they portrayed Samus clumsily, they portrayed the correct Samus, even if that isn’t YOUR fanfictional idea of what Samus “should” be.

  • Oscar Tong

    Well, Justin, you’ve convinced me to give “Other M” a fair chance. I wish you could mail a copy of this article to the “Other M” team—I think it really is a fair and balanced analysis that could help guide their work on the next “Metroid” game.

  • Mizu D

    As a big fan of the series, the game is disappointing. It is far from been bad, but a let-down nevertheless, especially in today economy where everyone vying for our hard earned cashed. Even more true when one possess and can play multiples games on multiples systems. That full price for the game could have been spent on another game. A few months later in 2010, my disappointment was relief with the excellent DKC Returns from no one but the excellent Retro Studios. If anything Nintendo and Team Ninjas didn’t deliver on the pedigree and lineage of the Metroid universe. I was skeptical when Retro helm the series but i was proven wrong. I was glad that Team Ninja will input their magic, but the result is unspectacular (regardless of the story line).
    IMO the music is where the game is at its weakest, of all the thing that I love the most about the Metroid series is the moody music and ambient sound so famous! The game composer is not helmed by the legendary Kenji Yamamoto and other veteran of the series and it really leave the mark when I played throughout the game and as such it is not memorable.

  • Did it not become Samus’ job as well? It’s not like she would just, upon hearing that she’d have to follow orders, say, “Nope. I’m out! Peace!” and leave those guys to their fate.

    EDIT: This was supposed to be a reply to James’ reply to my comment.

    • Not really.  Adam never hired her, so she was under no compulsion to follow him other than a sense of fealty she has towards him.  She could have left anytime she felt like it, or, as the case is, turned on her Varia suit when things started getting toasty even before Adam had authorized it.

    • At this point, I think it’s fairly obvious that the whole authorization thing was just a stupid way of fitting in the fact that Samus has to lose all her abilities at the start of every game, without slamming her against a wall again.

      And, if we assume that Samus was, indeed, characterized in previous games, then, no, I don’t think she could have left whenever she wanted. She never quit on any of her previous missions, despite them containing harder trials than an overbearing CO.

    • Well, to be fair, Samus was officially “hired” in the previous games, not just lending a hand out of the goodness of her heart.  Although, I don’t think Samus would be the type to abandon her allies so easily, even when she wasn’t professionally obligated, although she certainly could have if she had wanted to in the case of Other M.  On the other hand, it never made sense that she should follow Adam’s orders so faithfully that she would come to the brink of death simply because he hadn’t authorized protective equipment.

    • While I agree that she probably wouldn’t march through fire without protection just because she was ordered to do so, I don’t think the fact that she did so was an intentionally uncharacteristic. As I indicated above, I think it was just a necessary result of the idiotic way they (Sakamoto a.k.a. Not Team Ninja) chose to limit her abilities.

      I mean, in previous games, she probably (I don’t remember too well) had to cross the lava area for  some amount of time before unlocking the Varia suit.

    • It was uncharacteristic.  Samus has always been portrayed as being an efficient and self-reliant figure. Other M, however, as shown by this incident, indicates a figure that is inept and seemingly incapable of making her own decisions.  While it is true that Samus had to cross the lava area before getting the Varia Suit in games before Other M, in those games, she didn’t have access to the Varia Suit as she did in Other M, instead getting them as an upgrade she finds after defeating a boss or something.

    • Logan Hollis

      It’s not uncharacteristic. She is simply in a different situation. She has enough respect for Adam and feels enough guilt over leaving his unit, that she is going defer to him. Point being, if Adam wasn’t there, she wouldn’t take orders from anyone.

    • I didn’t say it wasn’t uncharacteristic; I said it wasn’t meant to be uncharacteristic. I just don’t think that there was any other way of doing it if they wanted to keep the urgency of running exposed through the lava area while sticking with the already stupid authorization mechanic.

    • Logan Hollis

      Look at her history with Adam. She respects him for good reason. I think she feels that giving him the right to order her around was her penance for hurting him by leaving the Federation military. She eventually grows out of that need when she activates the screw attack, but this whole game is really a story of her relationship with Adam.

    • Logan Hollis

      Or maybe she wanted to investigate? Or spend time with Adam due to her own emotional problems.

  • Gummy367

    I enjoyed playing Other M. Sure, it’s not  the best game or Metroid game, but it does have points going for it. It kinda felt like a 3D version of Super Metroid for me.

  • Aiddon

    Thing is I actually wonder how many story problems were Sakamoto’s fault. Case in point was Ninja Gaiden 3, a game that was heavily criticized for a lot of things…INCLUDING STORY ISSUES. It makes me wonder if Sakamoto just needed a more talented/competent team working with him. Team Ninja has kind of been cripple by the departure of Itagaki and HALF of its force.

    As for the sexist remarks I’ve heard time and time again, they disgust me on a personal level. Most of the people use accusations of sexism on this game because they KNOW it’s an easy way to condemn something just because they didn’t like Samus as Dirty Harry or Generic, Boring, Mute Badass #121819746. It’s pathetic and it needs to stop. “Gamers” are not yet qualified to try and talk about misogyny.

    • Nettacki

      All of the story problems were Sakamoto’s fault. All of them. Because he was the one who was pretty much the main writer of the whole thing, was practically a control freak who went out of his way to get involved in many aspects of production (including the voice acting for Samus and the rest of the characters) and even Team Ninja saw fit to blame him for the game’s writing and absolving all responsibility from themselves.

    • Aiddon

      scapegoating: a mechanism in which someone, when faced with a complex situation that takes effort to understand, decides to reduce things to a patronizingly simplistic degree because NOT having someone to get good and angry is too much for their minds to handle even though they could at any time direct their energies towards something more constructive. Face it kid, you know next to nothing about Other M’s production and a few, at best, EXTREMELY vague remarks aren’t enough to form an argument.

    • Nettacki

      Look, it’s no secret that Sakamoto’s the main writer and what he said about his involvement made it clear that it’s his vision and he wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m not saying everything bad about Other M should be blamed on him. I’m saying that at the very least, the story and characterization should be blamed mostly on him, because he’s the main writer and director, and even after all the criticism, he claimed that it’s still his vision and he doesn’t regret it.

      Maybe some of the ways the game was presented visually can be blamed on the cutscene director/makers (ie, D-Rockets), but in my opinion, all of this leads back to the main director of the game, and thus in the end, almost everything (but not all things) can be blamed on Sakamoto.

  • I haven’t revisited Other M, but I thought it was fine. I’ve tried to stay out of these Other M discussions because of how ugly they tend to get, but conceptually, I liked Other M. 

    One of the biggest criticisms Nintendo gets is that they rarely take risks with their franchises. If you pick up the latest Pokemon and Zelda game, you know what you’re getting into. Sure, Metroid Prime changed everyone’s perspective of the series (no pun intended >.>), but after the third entry I was ready to see something different, and Other M took that.

    Could it have a better story? Sure, but most video games have laughable stories, characters, and dialog. Other M was released the same year as Heavy Rain, after all. 

  •  I have heard most of these arguments before. And I believe I also have heard them debunked many times.

    This article proves that even if it was unintentional, there is far more than enough to come to the conclusion that this game is sexist. Even if it was unintentional, I can’t respect it for being so explicitly sexist. Women complain about characters wearing revealing clothes and I wouldn’t call that sexist. Having a female character being weak itself isn’t sexist either. But showing me boobs or an ass and then reminding me that my female character is weak is sexist. Going out of your way to degrade a character sexually (the zero suit isn’t in itself a sexual degradation, but the constant use of it and asset shots are) then physically is sexist. The portrayal of Samus’ and Adam’s abusive relationship as positive is sexist. I’m a man and I do tend to be perverted, but the line has been crossed when I see anyone being dehumanized. And that includes women. I won’t tolerate treating Samus as a piece of shit for merely being a woman.

    This man is correct. He talks about how Metroid other M fails as a game and how it’s not just the story. Previous metroid games would give you a story that you could persue at your own discretion. Even bits of the story could be learned just by looking at the environment or by looking at body language. For example, in the Prime series the way Samus walks gives off a confident feminine vibe. Samus wasn’t just a badass just because of what she did, her own confidence inspires players. In Other M, she walks like that little girl. There is zero confidence in her walk. She just moves from place to place doing what she is told, and commands little respect. And what story there was never got in the way of a good game. Metroid Other M is style over substance. Graphics over gameplay. Almost every core aspect of previous Metroid games has been replaced. Exploration was replaced with linear hallways. Accomplishments were replaced with cutscenes. Even the player’s connection with Samus was broken. The role playing aspect of previous games has been replaced with seeing an assassinated character. The player no longer feels like they are playing a game, but rather watching a cheesy movie with bits of interactivity.

    This person (not sure if male or female) gives a fair review of the theater mode cutscenes and then later he fairly reviews the gameplay after playing it. He talks about how even the backbone of the script is amateur that breaks even basic storytelling guidelines. Mu opinion based on it is that even the purists that bought into this crap game for looking kind of like the sidecrolling Metroids would be offended to learn that if this game is canon then almost no other game can be. I understand Sakamoto doesn’t like the prime series and wanted to make them noncanon, but in his conquest to assassinate Samus, no Metroid as a whole, he also put many other plotholes that directly contradict other games such as Super Metroid.

    For anyone with half a brain they would know that Metroid Other M can’t possibly reside in the same universe as the rest of the games. As is the best solution is to put it into it’s own universe. Two timelines, one for the series before it was corrupted by MOM and the other for MOM that has all of the inconsistencies ironed out. Unfortunately that wouldn’t leave much of other games in that timeline. That or Nintendo do the smart thing and declare MOM noncanon. Even if Nintendo calls it canon, any true fan of the series will consider it nonexistant or at least noncanon. At least if we separate it into two canon universes everybody could end up happy. Those of us that see that actions speak louder than words, that understand that a character can be very well defined personality wise without uttering a peep, that rhetoric is a poor way to measure a person’s character, and lastly those that actually want a game. We can have our metroid games that include the prime series while those that need speech to determine who somebody is (sorry, mute characters are all blank slates afterall), those that can’t pick out subtle body language to determine things like confidence, and those that would rather watch a movie. Those that like the style over substance can take the mess that is MOM.

    I know a lot of the people who claim to like MOM have been “purists” those that only like the sidescrolling metroid games. And I like the sidescrolling ones too, but I didn’t discount Metroid Prime or it’s sequels either. I wouldn’t call myself an fps fan by any measure, but Metroid Prime was a fine game. And for all the complaining the purists do they can’t honestly deny that Metroid Prime respected the games that came before it. It respected them, but it also expanded on them. It added to the lore without contradicting past lore. A lot of this was talked about by Gaming Brit such as having music able to stand on its own while adding to the atmosphere and enemies changing abilities and strategies from game to game. MOM had none of that. MOM shit on the lore even when it didn’t add much. It showed no respect to the series much less to Samus. No music was able to stand out at all and was just there in game. Enemies were merely plucked from other games to garner fangasms. Show some dignity. Learn when your “favorite” games are being pimped by crap, don’t just respond “dat cameo” as a defense of them just reusing assets instead of creating their own. If metroid prime can create so much and still fit into the series barring MOM then MOM should have been held to the same standard. Don’t just say, its from the first perspective, so it must be like COD and therefore bad. And don’t just defend it because it blatantly steals almost every good thing it has from past games.

    • My thoughts exactly.  Sometimes I can’t help but feel some of the anti-Prime, pro-Other M group hated Prime simply because it was in the first-person view.  Really, that’s an unfair bias as there are many superb games that take a first person view, Portal, Half-life, and Metroid Prime being worthy examples.

    • It’s not entirely unreasonable for Metroid fans to feel that way.  The series built its name on third-person exploration, and not everyone that enjoys those sorts of games enjoys first-person titles.  No matter how well-constructed the Prime games are, I could never bring myself to finish any of them because I simply don’t like FPS titles.  That they’re Metroid games were largely the reason I gave them a try (and I in fact still have copies of Metroid Prime 3 and Metroid Prime Trilogy on my shelf), but I rarely play them and feel little inclination to do so.

      I can appreciate the Prime games for what they are, but that doesn’t mean that I enjoy them.

    • So can’t get into a game simply because it’s in the first person perspective?  That is incredibly shallow.  You really need to open up.

  • THANK YOU. Finally someone who feels somewhat similar to me.

    Honestly, after Other:M I have so much respect for Samus for the things she’s had to live through. It opened up a page for her character that has been SORELY untouched upon in every game. That no matter how many cool things she may have done, or how wrongly people perceived her in their own way;due to the lack of the developers giving her more character earlier on in the games instead of a Manga that is only available by Fan Translation; that she is still HUMAN. With doubts, reservations and feelings like the rest of us.

    Other:M isn’t perfect, but it’s no where NEAR as terrible as all the idiotic people out there say it is. And any inconsistencies in this game, can also be brought up in other games as well(Like how does Ridely get back to his original form in SM from MP3:C?). No Metroid game is perfect and they all have flaws really.

    And at the end of the day it boils down to the creators and the blame lies soley with them for taking so long to bring more character to Samus and expecting people in other regions of the world to know information such as things as the backstory from a Manga that you can only find in fan translated form.(Or that Ridley’s true death was in Super Metroid. The PTSD scene should’ve had a much broader flashback really and shown much more than it did) Instead people have developed their own interpretations of what something SHOULD be, instead of what it actually is. If you don’t develop them early on, it just leads to disaster. (Which is why with a series like Red Vs Blue, they will never show any of the main character’s faces. Because whatever they envision them to be, it will never fit what the fans have interpreted on their own over the years. Burnie burns said as much once, I can’t remember where)

    I’ve been playing Metroid since Metroid 2 came out on the gameboy, but Other:M is still in my very top 3 favorites of the series. It deserves enough credit for making me cry, something no other Metroid game has managed to do.

    To tell the truth though, I know what it feels like to have the canon/backstory of a beloved series feel like it’s been fucked up to know end.(However, the cirumstances are slightly different, everything in Halo’s story had pretty much been defined already with the novel “The Fall of Reach” But Bungie fucked it up to no end with Halo:Reach. but I digress)
    And if it somehow ended up with Other:M being retconned to please all the whiners, I could live with that. Though I would be saddened deeply.

    •  Apathy?!!!! So being offended that one of your heroes is being dehumanized, degraded, and smacked around simply for being a woman, makes us apathetic? Do you realize what apathy means. Look at it this way, if I saw any of my family members being treated this way I wouldn’t hesitate, they don’t have to take that kind of treatment. I know what it feels like to be dehumanized and won’t stand back when I see others facing the same treatment. Seriously if you can watch Samus go through all she has been through and not be pissed off how she is treated, you are the one filled with apathy. Samus was a strong character, she was feminine, and confident. Other games had their ways of showing how she was a woman without being distracting. She showed compassion, and mercy. She was very admirable. And she didn’t need to display her boobs or ass to show her femininity. It was displayed through her actions. And then this game comes along and says f*CK it, she’s a walking womb, weak, and still seven years old. Where was her compassion? Her mercy? Oh well there was a lot of being retarded, if you think that is what makes a woman a woman. And also a woman must be someone who hasn’t mentally grown past the age of five according to MOM. This game shows how she was a joke when she was in the military. Lady? Princess? No respectful military would allow conduct such as that. Nor would it allow such nonconformity, but that is another matter. You aren’t offended by the fact she stopped thinking for herself the second Adam spoke? You aren’t offended by how the game presents an abusive relationship as positive? About how the woman is always wrong and the man is always right in this game. It is you defenders trying to defend the indefensible. So you cried? At what? Samus being humiliated by her colleagues and not even knowing it? Samus regressing and almost getting one of said colleagues killed? Or was it Samus losing all emotion, not really doing anything, just observing almost like she has nothing to live for (except for adam I guess). Adam was an asshole, so surely you couldn’t have meant you cried when he died (except he really didn’t need to die anyways). I knew someone almost just like him and he was not admirable, he was the same kind of asshole willing to smack you around if you so much as looked at him funny and if he thought he could overpower you. In short, Adam is a bully, Sakamoto made Samus weak as a person and physically weak (this is not about being a woman, because women can be strong), and due to this weakness Adam gained free reign to resume his abuse. Samus is no longer an adult, but a child who has no business leaving the safety of her neighborhood. If people see this as different from past portrayals, it’s because it is different. We aren’t so narrow minded to think being a silent protagonist takes away any personality. Samus has always had a strong portrayal of her personality, and yet it was displayed through subtlety. Talking was unnecessary as her personality shined through her silence. There was even a part in 3 where I could swear could see tears in her helmet’s reflection while fighting one of the bounty hunters. And lastly the series was known for putting the player in Samus’ shoes and becoming one with her. This means feeling what she feels. Seeing the tears rolling down her cheeks and I could only imagine having to fight one of your former allies, knowing there’s nothing you can do for them. She may have been silent, but she was far more human than MOM’s robot Samus. You just needed to use your eyes.

    • “Dehumanized?”  How on Earth is it dehumanizing to be depicted as having a personality?

      I’m honestly not even sure where to begin picking apart this giant wall of text.

      “And then this game comes along and says f*CK it, she’s a walking womb,
      weak, and still seven years old. Where was her compassion? Her mercy? Oh
      well there was a lot of being retarded, if you think that is what makes
      a woman a woman. And also a woman must be someone who hasn’t mentally
      grown past the age of five according to MOM. This game shows how she was
      a joke when she was in the military. Lady? Princess? No respectful
      military would allow conduct such as that. Nor would it allow such
      nonconformity, but that is another matter. You aren’t offended by the
      fact she stopped thinking for herself the second Adam spoke? You aren’t
      offended by how the game presents an abusive relationship as positive?
      About how the woman is always wrong and the man is always right in this
      game. It is you defenders trying to defend the indefensible.”

      I honestly didn’t think any of this.  And really.  “Walking womb?”  Where on Earth do you get this?  Calling her a mental five-year-old and retarded?  You’re going out of your way to insult her characterization far more than anyone in the game actually treats her.

      Your argument is little more than an anger-filled rant that goes out of its way to insult those that like the game.  I’d request that you have more respect for those that disagree with you and restate your thoughts in an intelligent, well-organized manner.

    • She wasn’t given a personality, her personality was changed. Personality determines actions and vice versa. Looking at what she has done in the past, we can get a fairly good picture of who she is, it’s not perfect, but then again it was never meant to be, because it’s impossible the player and character to become one if her character was too fleshed out. The events of the past games did happen, if she was a blank slate with no personality then she would have never even gotten involved in any of those games. A robot wouldn’t have shown mercy to that metroid hatchling. A robot wouldn’t have been impacted at all about having to fight former allies. A robot wouldn’t have the determination that Samus had to keep going in crisis. And even if she was given a personality, that still doesn’t excuse it. If her only personality is that she loves Adam so much that she is willing to walk into a smoldering hot area without activating her varia suit. If her only personality was that she was still a toddler mentally. Then I would rather her have no personality at all. A bad personality is not better than none. At least before, she would have had the dignity of being a hero. What did she do in this game. Join a misogynist military, become the butt of their sexist jokes and abuse, and counter that by acting younger than she really was(flashback)? Regroup with said misogynist military and abusive leader, and suddenly become their plaything again, while countering this by regressing back to the mental state of being a child? Watch Adam walk into a part of the ship to blow it up, even though it would have been blown up anyways? He treated her like shit and still in the end she went back to the bottle ship to retrieve his helmet. Maybe they really did have a good relationship, it doesn’t matter because what is shown is that Adam was an asshole in the past, and he was an asshole in the present. Her actions meant nothing in the end. The hero of the game turned out to be Anthony. Samus was irrelevant and the game turned out to be one big goose chase. As someone I heard put it, “It’s like playing a Batman game and you’re Alfred.

       And it became dehumanizing because the game constantly attacked her for it. In the scene where she wanted to save ian, the game was like “this dumb woman wants to risk her life for a man.” and Adam was all like “F*ck him, let him die”. And the event is rubbed in her face as if a man wouldn’t have bothered. And in the other games the player knew that Samus was a woman, the games were not afraid to show that, but they were respectable, her gender had no negative bearing on her performance. She was respected. The other soldiers would awe at the sight of her because she was so well known. And the enemies were afraid of her because they had felt or knew of the devastation she brought upon evil. And to some she was a fairy tale or a nightmare. Some didn’t believe she was even real since her actions would be difficult to perform by a human. There is none of that in MOM. Though the enemies are supposed to be new or wouldn’t have had the chance to know about Samus, the soldiers not showing a bit of respect is inexcusable. As I said, in the past games her gender had no negative bearing, here, anytime she screws up the game reminds you that she is a woman. Ridley shows up, she goes Zero Suit. Adam hits her, she goes Zero Suit. Almost ever fail she makes the game rubs her gender in your face. Here if she isn’t wondering what Adam would think or do in one situation, she is thinking BABYBABYBABYBABY. She is unable to keep focus on the task at hand because she is always too busy recounting what had just happened five minutes earlier. And the game says she does this because she is a woman. When she fought Ridley (read: pissed her pants), the game wasn’t saying she became a child, it was revealing that that was how she has always been, when Adam was around. Adam’s words only made it worse.

      The worst thing about this game is that left as canon, it destroys the rest of the series, making them amount to nothing but a fantasy of an abused child. Showing a strong woman who is only stronger because she is a woman is long gone and the new age of misogynist abuse ala twilight is now underway. That is, unless Nintendo does the smart thing and removes Sakamoto from the team. I wouldn’t take the kind of treatment dealt to Samus and I wouldn’t stand around and watch another being treated that way. If Nintendo keeps going in this direction of destroying it’s characters then they won’t survive for much longer afterward. You know it’s bad when the princess that practically let’s herself get kidnapped and then plays sports with her captor, is more respected than the one who has singlehandedly destroyed a parasitical species including the strongest ones there was, killed a dragon multiple times, stopped a race of space pirates multiple times, destroyed a giant meteor of a sentient mutagen and the representative of it (and a past enemy) being a dark version of her.  It’s bad that the one who has done all of that still gets treated like shit precisely because she is a woman.

    • Adam prevented Samus from trying to save Ian because he knew that it would have done no good.  The ship Ian is on explodes moments after the rescue ship broke away.  Samus was mistaken in the belief that she thought she could save him.  She was wrong, and she realized that later, but the incident drove a wedge between her and Adam.

      Yes, Samus entered a military that isn’t as welcoming to women as it is to men.  She even states this in her narration.  However, judging from their interactions, “Lady” is used as a term of respect, whereas “Princess” is just Anthony being friendly.  Neither character is ever depicted as outright hostile to Samus due to her gender.

      ” She was respected. The other soldiers would awe at the sight of her
      because she was so well known. And the enemies were afraid of her
      because they had felt or knew of the devastation she brought upon evil.
      And to some she was a fairy tale or a nightmare. Some didn’t believe she
      was even real since her actions would be difficult to perform by a

      Where on Earth do you get any of this?

      “As I said, in the past games her gender had no negative bearing, here,
      anytime she screws up the game reminds you that she is a woman. Ridley
      shows up, she goes Zero Suit. Adam hits her, she goes Zero Suit. Almost
      ever fail she makes the game rubs her gender in your face.”

      Do you remember Super Metroid?  How Samus’s obviously female silhouette is visible in her death animation?  Being reminded of her gender during the course of a normal game is nothing new at all.

      Samus is a woman; this is not something that should be hidden or set aside because that’s part of who she is.  But even so, when she loses her suit in the confrontation with Ridley, it’s at the height of her panic, not because of her gender.  Likewise, her suit deactivates when Adam shoots her because he used a blast with enough force to knock her unconscious.  He felt the need to do this because MB had already put the seed of doubt in Samus’s mind that he was the one responsible for the Metroid project and knew that he’d have a better chance of being able to communicate with her if she wasn’t likely to raise her arm cannon at first sight.

      “Showing a strong woman who is only stronger because she is a woman is
      long gone and the new age of misogynist abuse ala twilight is now

      I have no idea how to respond to this.  What are you even talking about at this point?

      “It’s bad that the one who has done all of that still gets treated like shit precisely because she is a woman.”

      No one in Other M treats Samus like shit because of her gender.  I’m sorry, but you’re just severely off the mark on this.

    •  That’s my point. The viewer is told that she couldn’t have done anything, that Adam made the right choice. And yet she still wouldn’t have acted differently even after all of those years.

      And you say that lady was used as a sign of respect. Yet she had done nothing at that point to earn any respect. Both Princess and Lady were both jokes. Though both had different meanings and intent. Anthony was trying to be friendly. But it was clear Adam was looking down on Samus. Samus knew this but she erroneously reacted by acting like a child. It didn’t help things.

      That super metroid example is different. In that the player’s skill determines if they succeed or see the game over screen. The failure is fairly attributed to the player. In Other M it isn’t attributed to the player’s skill at all. You see it in cutscenes. And the zero suit is different than all other appearances. In Zero Mission Samus is still capable, even in just her zero suit and with the small gun. She is agile. In MOM, her zero suit was built for looks entirely. She can’t even walk right because of her high heels. I get they wanted Samus to appear more feminine, but wearing high heels for combat is stupid. Her feet must have been killing her by that point.

      And about the twilight reference. Twilight is a series that thrives off of misogyny. The media has given up on making strong women that are stronger, more determined, because they are women, and instead have went to the twilight crap, the lifetime crap. And they’ve taken Samus with them. They’ve shrunk her down (but not her assets obviously), she is supposed to be around six foot tall, and yet outside of her armor others tower above her. Samus has been a professional bounty hunter, intelligent, and calculating. Yet NInty and Team Boobs think she wears high heels to combat?

      Another complaint I have that I never mentioned (but sure has already been mentioned by others). It concerns the authorization mechanic and the claim that Adam possessed the “perfect military mind” And yet by the end of MOM he had gotten all but one of his men killed and almost got Samus killed as well. Real soldiers have more autonomy. All this time we were thinking Samus was a dolt for not activating her Varia suit( and she was, at least she had a brain fart there). Maybe the others were as well. They all died because maybe Adam didn’t authorize them to live. I bet he laughed about them dying ” I didn’t authorize you to avoid that lava monster.” “I didn’t authorize you to look up at those teeth.” “Did I authorize you to dodge?” Or maybe that claim he had a perfect military mind was all hogwash and his mismanagement of his team got them most of them killed.

    • Jacob Listerud

      Wow. Sounds like the arguments you just made were far more well thought-out than any that Justin Graham could have ever come up with. Oh, and by the way, I hope you watch some Japanese anime, because if you want more strong, independent women, there will definitely be hope for you yet. My recommendations: Black Lagoon, Fairy Tail, Hellsing, Jormungand, Heroic Legend of Arslan, Soul Eater, Attack on Titan, Ghost in the Shell, Magic Knight Rayearth, Cardcaptor Sakura, Birdy the Mighty, Baccano, Yona of the Dawn, and plenty of others. Outside of Anime, I think you should check out RWBY (okay, some debate on it being anime, but whatever), Avatar: The Last Airbender, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, and Disney’s two newest films, Moana, and Zootopia.

    •  You said that those that didn’t like the sexism were apathetic morons. I’ve felt bullying firsthand, and I have seen others bully others for various reasons, I know how it feels, that is why I stood against the treatment of Samus. Yet you think being pissed off that a character is essentially being bullied, is being apathetic.

      ap·a·thy  (p-th)n.1. Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference.2. Lack of emotion or feeling; impassiveness.Even if you just disagreed with us it wouldn’t make us apathetic. The fact that we have shown concern (regardless of whether you think it is justified or not), wouldn’t make us apathetic. Women complain about how few female characters are respectable. And we won’t be getting any more if all we do is treat their gender as a hindrance. Treating them like they are slave to emotions that need to be smacked around a few times. Yes, they sometimes get emotional, but they have brains as well and they’re stronger and smarter than we give them credit for. Jade from Beyond good and evil worked as a photographer to help take care of some kids in an orphanage. *Spoiler* She was absolutely devastated when they were kidnapped. It was also a punch to the gut when her Uncle peyj was kidnapped. But she pulled herself through with the determination to save them. Her heart sank even further when she thought her uncle was dead, she would have still pulled through so it didn’t happen to another.*End Spoiler* Her character showed that she was incredibly smart, athletic, and still a woman. There was no denying it, she had nothing to hide, nothing to be embarrassed about.. And there’s Kaine from Nier. As a child she was bullied, though her grandmother stood up for her. As a response she started wearing lingerie as a way of proclaiming her femininity(she was bullied due to not being fully a woman). She also became a great fighter. She was a strong woman, despite not being fully female, she was woman enough and that wasn’t a bad thing. Besides the lingerie she did have other feminine qualities and none of them were a hindrance to her character and why should they? A character can be as feminine or as masculine as they can be and still be great characters they just have to fit the character. Kaine was a strange character with a lot of quirks but they fit because she was such a well written character. Samus’ altered personality wasn’t well written. She comes off more as an attack on femininity in general than an attempt to write a decent character. The connections the game gives for her flaws are a huge blight. When she was younger she didn’t act her age. She acted like a child and as a result she became the butt of the jokes in her group. Now maybe they let children join the galactic federation but surely she couldn’t have been that young as to act like she hadn’t entered puberty yet. The real military wouldn’t take such immaturity. That would all  be fine if she had actually matured since then. She hadn’t. That was what the game said was the case. It went out of it’s way to remind players and Samus that her wanting to save Ian was naive and immature. And her response to a similar situation was that she would do the same thing. That is the game’s way of saying she hadn’t changed. She was still that little girl in the military.Maybe for some these flaws are nothing. There’s nothing wrong with a character having flaws, if they don’t override the qualities they have. Samus’s flaws unfortunately do override her qualities, nay they negate them completely. Turning her acts of heroism into a pipe dream of wanting to please Adam and her feminine aspects into the reason she is a failure. For most characters flaws can be easily assimilated, Samus’s flaws just create more headaches when trying to get them to make some sense so much so the easiest explanation is that everything is just in her head, her valiant acts never happened, she just watched as others did the hard work.

    • I never in my article or in my responses to the comments here refer to anyone as apathetic or moronic.

      I would also like to state that I have felt bullying first-hand.  I was bullied throughout grade school, middle school and high school.  I was that kid that everyone in class picked on because I was an easy target.  The abuse was verbal as well as physical, and it made me so miserable that I was a paranoid wreck at school during my last year of high school, when everyone mysteriously grew up and chose to leave me alone.

      I feel for those that are bullied, and I hate bullies.  It’s left lasting emotional scars that will likely never heal.  Though I’ve certainly gotten better over the years, I still have those moments where the pain comes back.  It hurts.  It always has, and perhaps always will.

      That is part of why I like Samus so much as she has been portrayed.  She has her hang-ups and faults, just as any normal person has.  Samus is a flawed human being; one that suffered the loss of her parents and home at an early age, that was raised to become a warrior by a tribe of bird people.  She has performed heroic feats and fought her enemies with skill and aplomb, but she’s still just a human like any of us here.

      That is not sexism.  That is humanity.

    •  Sorry, that was nick that used that insult, not you. I apologize.

    • Jacob Listerud

      “You’re going out of your way to insult her characterization far more than anyone in the game actually treats her.”

      Good! Because her characterization is insultING!

    • Justin Graham

      If that’s what you think, you should explain how or why. Otherwise, there’s no conversation to be had.

    • Jacob Listerud

      All right, if you insist: Actually, I found this blog on the internet called Other M: The Ultimate Elephant In The Room and it does a much better job of explaining than I ever could. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX0C0z9Db00

    • Justin Graham

      I’m afraid that, as someone that put a great deal of time and effort explaining my own views on the game, you’ll need to do better than linking to someone else’s words.

      Please explain in your own words.

    • Jacob Listerud

      Okay, then, Other M glorifies and romanticizes an abusive relationship between Samus and Adam and portrays all the abuse he puts her through as done for her own good. Now read that article please.

    • Justin Graham

      I already put in my effort to explain my views in the article. If the best you can do is snipe, snark, and link to someone else’s words in response, then I have little reason to carry on with you. You have no interest in responding to the article itself; only in insulting and berating those that don’t agree with your viewpoint while expecting others to do the heavy lifting of explaining for you.

      I see now see that eight months ago, you responded to a comment left by Clinton Nix four years ago to simply call him stupid. This further lessens any reason that I should have in taking your already lacking desire to form a cogent, thoughtful argument seriously.

      Unless you can provide a response in your own words that is in any way thoughtful while maintaining respect for dissenting views, I have no reason to respond to your comments any further. Good night.

    • Jacob Listerud

      Read. Elephant. In. The. Room. blog. Please.

    • Justin Graham

      For the final time, if you can’t explain your views in your own words with civility, then I have no reason to talk to you. That we disagree is one thing. That you’ve been obviously belligerent toward those that disagree with you regarding the game’s content and quality is another.

      The article I wrote is four years old now. Your comments are not only trite and lacking in substance, but rude, as well. I am quite versed in counterarguments regarding Other M at this point and have no interest in being linked to the words of others by those that can’t put in the effort to support their own views.

      Again, if you can argue your point in your own words, I’d be willing to read them. I will not take someone else’s argument for your own viewpoint. Especially if you can’t in turn show respect for the viewpoints of others that disagree with you.

    • Jacob Listerud

      Then I’ll try it: A lot of you like to claim that Samus in this game gets hate for showing any emotion whatsoever. To debunk this myth, I would like to bring up an anime called Fairy Tail. My favorite character in the entire series, Erza Scarlet is a super strong woman but does get emotional at times. However, it’s always done in ways that don’t take away her strength of character. One of the latest chapters shows a great example of this. After experiencing a tragedy along with the rest of her guild, she’s very heartbroken and her heart hurts even more when she sees Natsu and Grey fighting each other, and she actually cries as she intervenes with their fight. She’s emotional in that scene, but it’s done in ways that still show her as a strong and independent woman. She didn’t stand in the sidelines and beg them to stop. She actually intervened in their battle. But Samus does nothing along these lines in this game.

    • Justin Graham

      This is an incredibly weak argument that you present. All you’re doing is comparing two different characters in different situations. Samus isn’t Erza. That she doesn’t behave like Erza doesn’t mean that she isn’t strong in her own right. There is no singular template for creating a strong character. That a character might be overwhelmed on an emotional and psychological level and need a helping hand does not make them weak or take away their independence. As I argued in my writing, it’s an aspect of being human. Sometimes, even the strongest among us need help.

      Feel free to try again.

    • Jacob Listerud

      You, sir. are missing the point. Erza did need help at times, but it was done in ways that *never *degraded her strength as a character, but the ways that Samus was portrayed as needing help in this game hurt her as a character. And no, I am, always have been, and always shall be convinced that all of Samus’s strength in this game has been leeched out of her.

    • Justin Graham

      You don’t explain how Samus needing help “degraded” her.

      Requiring help isn’t a character flaw. It just makes a character more human. And the depiction of Samus in Other M was always in line with an official manga that had been produced years before. The game didn’t suddenly do anything to change or hurt her.

    • Jacob Listerud

      Why don’t you watch this video then? And no excuses, just watch it.

    • Justin Graham

      No. I want your own words.

    • Jacob Listerud

      And no, not even the manga was safe from Other M’s rampage of contradicitons to the entire rest of the Metroid series.

    • Justin Graham

      You’re going to have to explain that.

    • Jacob Listerud

      You’re saying, “I want your own words” as an excuse to completely ignore any article or video I send you.

    • Justin Graham

      It’s not an excuse. As I’ve said before, I’ve seen plenty of counterarguments from various sources over the years already. If you want me to take you seriously, I want to hear your arguments in your own words. Don’t just send me links and demand I read or watch them. That doesn’t cut it.

    • Jacob Listerud

      Oh, don’t take *me* seriously, take *them* seriously. And you’re just saying that you want to hear my own words to protect yourself from the articles and videos I sent you. Just watch and read them. If you don’t, I’m gonna think you have a closed mind.

    • Justin Graham

      As I said before, I’m well-versed in counterarguments. I doubt that the links you insist I click state anything that I haven’t heard before in the years since Other M’s release. And while I don’t agree with those views, I can at least respect that the authors of those articles and videos at least put in the effort to express their views.

      You insist on hiding behind the work of others. If that’s the most you can do, then I have no reason to continue this conversation any further.

      This article is, again, four years old now. I’ve had this debate countless times over the years and nothing that you’ve said or presented is enough to suddenly change my mind. I’ve been very patient with you up to this point despite your incredible rudeness to other commenters on this article, but at this point, I am truly done talking with you.

      I’d suggest you find a better use of your time than to be angry over a video game released over six years ago.

    • Jacob Listerud

      Well, there is one last article I’ll send you a link to. Only this time, it’s to an article that I myself wrote. http://thedashingspinner.blogspot.com/2016/03/now-there-is-this-blogger-on-internet.html

    • Jacob Listerud

      Funny how you brought up a tvtropes article, because I found one ripping apart every shitty Other M defense argument everyone has been making:


  • Kyle Bue

    I’ve gotta say, the game really is fun in the end of it all and definitely worth the $10-15 it goes for now. Is it perfect? Not in any definition of the word in my opinion. Does it stack up to the magnificence  that was the Prime series? Not to me. But by itself, it is a decent title worth playing at least once.

    That being said, the story really did tick me off a bit. The sexism stuff I could care less about. It’s mainly about how Samus’s character is portrayed. I really did not like it one bit. Samus has always been, in my mind, the bad@$$ bounty hunter chick who saves planets from destruction and isn’t afraid of anything. This game totally goes against that. I won’t go into detail since my arguments are just about the same as many others (Adam, that Ridley scene, etc.) but Samus’s character is what really put a bad taste in my mouth with this game.

    If they wanted to give Samus an emotional personality, that’s fine. But I think they could have done it way better then they did. Of course this is all my opinion. Just wanted to share it.

    •  Yep, they definitely could have given her an emotional personality and still have respected her. I mentioned in a past comment about Jade from Beyond Good and Evil. She had an emotional personality and still she saved everyone. And one of my favorite characters from Yu Yu hakusho (not a game I know) was genkai. She kicked ass, chewed bubblegum and then later had tea. Even the men were more emotional than usual guy characters. And other females were portrayed positively. Keiko could slap even Yusuke and do quite the damage. She was girly, but tough. Shizuru wasn’t afraid of a monster and was kicking his ass, in fact she was the one who toughed up Kuwabara so much. And Case closed another anime I like has the main female being a karate champion. She’s not afraid of being a woman, and she can still kick your ass.

      Men and women aren’t exclusively masculine and feminine only. Each person has qualities from each. That’s why not all guys like sports or that some girls do. Not all guys are “manly” in the sense that they feel they have to do manly stuff and not all girls are girly in the sense that they have to do girly stuff. Kuwabara from YYH is a perfect example of a man that breaks societal norms in regard of masculinity. He’s tough, but has a love of kittens. He has a code of honor, and is willing to fight for love. He breaks down crying at the thought of his best friend dying. And despite all of these things, he still turns out the better man. He has shown compassion to his enemies, almost dying in the process at one point. In the alternative Samus may not have shown her emotions as much, she was still a better woman. She still had emotions, they were just more subtly displayed. She transcended being a girl and became a woman, not just because that was a better way to write her, it also served to unify the player and character in their emotional states.Just like how characters like Kuwabara were written to unify the viewer and the characters in their emotional states.

      Oh and about the sexism thing, I am not just against it, but also against any poor treatment of people. I’ve seen what it does to people and have also experienced it myself firsthand. And I can’t stand when the media encourages it and portrays it as good. Defend it for gameplay if you want (though it took away everything metroid was about), but you can’t defend poor treatment of characters or the substandard writing( not saying you were). MOM would have been better had it just been original. Rather than screw up the lore and characters, they could have created new characters and then maybe people would see just how bad it is. For now I would just rather forget it even existed or at least forget it bore the name of metroid.

  • multibottler0cket

    Other M <3

    Best 3D Metroid despite a couple of weak spots. I mean Prime games are well made, but they just don't have that classic fast paced Metroid gameplay that Other M has.

  • “It’s still a pretty contentious topic for me to this day, in fact.”
    Really? Last time I checked, all the controversy surrounding Other M had died down.

    • All the heat died down as the debate concluded in the opposition’s favor. The arguments presented in this article have already been shot down multiple times by many different people. This article is really no different, already having counterpoints to most if not all of it’s defenses.

    • And the opposition’s arguments have also taken their share of hits.

      Either way, it’s evident from the responses generated that the debate is still far from over, if people continue to be this willing to discuss it.  I would hardly call that a staunch victory for either side.

    • Nettacki

      “And the opposition’s arguments have also taken their share of hits.”

      I’d argue that the defenders’ arguments have taken more hits than the opposition, and they all struck harder.

  • Sylux8675309

    I agree with most of the points you have made. Plus this game did embrace a lot of what the manga had. Including the suit failure and concentration (1st Cell  http://metroid-database.com/manga/?vid=11&cid=38#manga_top).
    Also, Samus’s character type is supported by the Samus and Joey Manga (http://metroid-database.com/manga/?vid=24&cid=106#manga_top)
    Also, a lot of people complaining about story holes were not able to figure out who the deleter was, so they just did not follow the game well enough. That eliminates about 1/3 of the haters.

    The things that bugged me were:
    1. Linearity – Of course Metroid Fusion was linear. But, it still allowed elbow room. You can go to any area in the past, so it still felt like exploring. Here it felt like Point A, B, C, D.
    2. No replay value – I played it once 100%. Once at Hard Mode, and then…..nothing.
    3. Music – Where did the awesome music from the past go…. I truly like only 3 songs from this game.
    4. Too many missed opportunities – It would have been better if they used the slow 3rd person areas when you walk past the other soldiers. That could have eliminated some of the cut-scenes. Also, I wished they did not just tell. It’s the show, don’t tell thing.
    5. Some game play issues – Some of the enemies are odd. I can jump on a Grogranch and continue infinitely doing midair somersaults. Also, some clipping issues.

    It was not terrible, but it was not great. Good for a veteran player, not so good for a player new to the franchise. I did thoroughly enjoy reading this article though. I’m always glad to see a articles from a fellow Metroid fan. (btw, you should really play Metroid II, it’s difficult but one of my favorites.)

    • Thanks for your response!  I’m sorry it’s taken this long for me to respond, as you bring up a number of good points and criticisms.  I definitely do plan to try Metroid II when I have the time to devote to it, as I’ve heard some great things about it.

    • Jacob Listerud

      Um, FYI, Other M even contradicts the manga.

  • Kashai

    I feel like they attempted to create a female Bruce Wayne with Samus in this game. The Ridley scene is a bit jarring compared to the rest of the games, but it is a callback to the Canonical Manga in which Samus even suffers breathing problems. It’s a textbook case of PTSD and I really can’t really judge it because I know what it’s like to freeze up at memories of something that traumatized me. I also know what it’s like to feel the need to prove myself to someone, so I feel like I connected with Samus in this game, I understand what she’s going through and I admire her even more after seeing how she overcame her insecurities over the course of the adventure by unleashing hell on Ridley after that scene (The fact that I was in control of this part felt more empowering to me than you can imagine) and challenging Adam’s decision to die.

    • Jacob Listerud

      Then you need professional help. I have heard people on the internet debunk the PTSD argument many, MANY times before, so no matter what you or anybody else says about the Ridley freakout, it was a hundred percent inexcusable and the fact that Samus then wailed on Ridley afterwards doesn’t make up for it at all, and overall, just… You’re just an idiot.

  • Jacob Listerud

    This article was garbage. With a capital G.

  • Jacob Listerud

    This article was a pile of dog-shit, just like the game itself. And I hate to tell you this: the haters of Other M have far more valid arguments than the game’s defenders ever will. I hope you read this 18-chapter blog, and watch all four of these videos down here. Ready to watch in horror as your defense arguments get ripped to shreds before your very eyes?